Mayor announces $500 million redevelopment of One Times Square

Jamestown – One Times Square Roof View
A roof view of the One Times Square Building. Image from Jamestown Development

The core of the Big Apple is gaining some shine.

Mayor Eric Adams announced Friday a $500 million redevelopment of the One Times Square building – the 26-story anchor of Times Square from which the New Year’s Eve ball is dropped and which has been the central to New Year’s Eve traditions celebrated around the world since 1907.

Adams said the redevelopment, funded by the real estate management company Jamestown LP – which has owned the building since 1997, will help New York sell itself to the rest of the world as an essential destination for tourists.

“We’re going to span the globe and let people know how good this product is, called New York City,” Adams said. “You know, for far too long, we have not really appreciated this product and  what Times Square means to all of us and how this is the center of the universe for America. And when the lights are on on Broadway in Times Square, the lights are on in America. And the comeback of America starts here in this square for these times.”

The redevelopment effort is a collaboration between Jamestown LP, the city and the Times Square Alliance. The event was also attended by Times Square Alliance President Tom Harris, U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D – Manhattan) and city Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodríguez.

Mayor Eric Adams announces redevelopment of One Times Square building. Friday, May 6, 2022.Photo by Ethan Stark-Miller

While the exterior of the iconic 93,200 square foot building, once home to The New York Times, is covered in large digital billboards, its interior has gone mostly vacant for decades. 

In addition to the visitor’s center, the redevelopment will also include a new viewing deck that provides a closer look at the New Year’s Eve Ball, according to a release. And it’ll include a museum that tells the story of the building, the New Year’s Eve celebration and how it fits into the history of Times Square.

“Over 118 years ago, this location was for the New York Times building, not [accessible] to the public,” Adams said. “Now is {accessible] to the public. It’s the place we witness the ball drop over and over again. The museum is going to be here to chronicle our history, to show how we got here in the first place. This is going to be a modernizing of the building, making it more accessible, providing different opportunities for people to enjoy Times Square. And it is really in an iconic location when you come up to celebrate. And the energy, the excitement, the experience.”

Additionally, the redevelopment will include improvements to the entrance to the part of the Times Square subway station that serves the shuttle to Grand Central Station. These include a new stair entrance, canopy and Americans with Disabilities Act accessible elevator.

According to a published report, the redevelopment will also devote 12 floors of the building to brands for showcasing digital, virtual and augmented reality advertising experiences. Jamestown President Michael Phillips said this project has been five years in the making and will use a combination of the physical building and technology housed there to promote the city.

“Times Square has served as the crossroads of the world for more than a century, and One Times Square is at the center of that global stage,” Phillips said in a release. “The building’s next chapter will build on that legacy, creating a new destination in the heart of Times Square for the next generation. With a focus on providing experiences enhanced by technology, the project is representative of the future of real estate and the integration of the physical and virtual worlds. We are reimagining how spaces can be experienced by leveraging the power of AR technology and creative storytelling.”